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Auto museum sells cars; LA Times runs correction (with video) Comment on this post ↓
July 26th, 2013 by Warren Swil

You wont find any

of these autos

for sale on Craigslist!

The logo of the Petersen Automotive Museum is featured on the side of a 1934 Ford half-ton panel truck. Click image to enlarge. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.

A minor kerfuffle has erupted in Los Angeles over the world-renowned Petersen Automotive Museum selling about 100 rare cars to raise funds for an expansion.
On the front page of its web site is a huge headline: The Petersen sets the record straight.
It is a response to two articles that appeared last week in the Los Angels Times, which has since published a minor correction to its article Petersen’s auctions of its cars violate most museums’ standards
Robert Petersen was a multimillionaire who made a fortune publishing automotive titles like “Motor Trend” and others likes “Guns & Ammo.” He founded the museum in 1994 and died in 2007.
The museum’s robust defense means the Los Angeles Times has struck a nerve – despite its minor correction, it has raised an interesting issue worthy of public debate.

WATCH A VIDEO OF AN AUCTION OF CARS BELOW THE FOLD

In its “setting the record straight” letter, museum officials state: “This week the Los Angeles Times ran two articles about The Petersen Automotive Museum’s de-accession of some cars from its collection, incorrectly stating that the museum has new leadership and misleading readers into thinking we are changing course from our original mission,” says the statement signed by Peter Mullin, chairman, and Bruce Meyer, co-vice chairman.

The web site of the Petersen Automotive Museum currently features a retort to the Los Angeles Times, titled “Setting the record straight.”

“These stories are based on supposition and disinformation from two former employees – one of whom was an intern many years ago – and are totally inaccurate.”
Wow! Disgruntled former employees? Who cooda node?
“We believe these articles are a direct misrepresentation of our intentions for the museum. To be clear, we will not detour from our mission statement as laid out by Robert Petersen.  Our staff has followed very specific guidelines and protocols when deciding how the collection evolves.”
In his Los Angele Times story published July 19, Jerry Hirsch wrote: “In the world of museums, selling off pieces of a collection is undertaken with great care, often prior public notice, and the singular goal of raising money to improve the collection.
“A Rembrandt might be sold, for instance, to expand a collection of other Dutch masters from the era.
“The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is taking a different tack: unloading more than 100 rare and often historically important cars, in under-the-radar auctions, to finance a dramatic renovation of its building.”

This 1919 Mack Truck, a Bulldog Model, is on display at the main entrance to the parking structure at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Click image to enlarge. © SGE, Inc. All rights reserved.

In a news release on its web site, Petersen museum responds to concerns about changes in focus its Executive Director Terry Karges adds to the details.
“First, the transformation is as much about the space as the museum itself,” Karges says. “The building we’re in was originally constructed as a department store, not a museum. It was converted into a museum in 1994, but think of what has changed, technology-wise, in 20 years.
“To broaden its appeal, the museum needs to modernize, with things like interactive exhibits, while expanding to include more galleries.
“We’d like to see things like a motorsport gallery, a biography gallery addressing those significant to the history of the automobile, and an advanced technology gallery that shows where the automobile is heading.
“We’d like to offer more adult education programs as well, focusing on things like the future of automotive design and the future of automotive journalism.”
On its page about the museum’s history, we learn a bit more.
“The Petersen Automotive Museum has been celebrating this passion since 1994 on the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, the third most travelled intersection in the city of Los Angeles.
Since its inception, the Petersen Automotive Museum has been regarded as the focus of automotive enthusiasm on the West Coast.”

Watch a video of the Gooding & Company auction. “1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS $363,000 SOLD!” By Robert Myrick, published April 16.

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